The Night Of (HBO Series)

The commercials for this show featured a contrite Pakistani American sitting in a jail cell, a young man in his 20s that is now facing criminal charges. His lawyer Jack Stone (John Turturro) decides to help him out even after he discovers that the case is a hard sell. He tells him to day nothing and wait for his counsel. That young man’s name is Nasir Khan (Riz Ahmed) and he doesn’t recall anything about the night of the crime. This is a break for Stone who is hoping to cash in on helping a young man beat a bad rap. Something about the sweet kid tugs at his heart strings and he can’t bear to see the poor pup rott in that cell…

This 8 part series from HBO features a behind the scenes look at real NYC courtroom and police protocols. It shows us the elements that shows like Law and Order skip for the sake of the procedural’s one hour time slot. In the many hours that The Night of chronicles you will see how Nazir goes from clean cut student to a bonifide criminal in the eyes of the public, prison and judicial system. His heritage is called into question and even used against him because he is a Muslim. Many people are out to use this naive young man as political leverage. Even the DA wants to lock him away and throw away the key even though Naz is a college student and upstanding citizen of his community.

By the end of the season many questions will be answered: Will he be able to make it out of prison alive with his sanity and freedom? What type of protection will he need? Will a jury find him innocent or guilty? Did he really do it? Is his lawyer competent enough to stand trial and win? You will be glued to your screen as the images and dialogue of this group of New Yorkers presents and develops the story. The plot twists and turns slowly but surely. By episode 3 I couldn’t wait to find out who the killer was, even if it is Mr. Khan. I guess I’ll have to watch a few more episodes to learn what’s the 4-11.

Law and Order: Special Victim’s Unit on steroids. A good find for a crime and justice junkie. Five stars.

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